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American Psychiatric Association January 2000 Tipsheet

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By American Psychiatric Association Press Release • • January 3, 2000

In the January issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry:

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors with psychotropic properties may help with Alzheimer's

A new study released by the UCLA School of Medicine finds that acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may help control neuropsychiatric and behavioral disturbances in Alzheimer's. These agents also may help psychiatrists and other physicians treat other disorders with cholinergic system abnormalities and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

["Cholinesterase Inhibitors: A New Class of Psychotropic Compounds," by Jeffrey L. Cummings, M.D., p. 4]

Study investigates relationship between brain signals and functions in healthy individuals

The results of a study by the State University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine provide the first link between age-related declines in brain dopamine activity and frontal and cingulate metabolism, which reinforces the need to investigate treatments that enhance dopamine function in the elderly.

["Association Between Age-Related Decline in Brain Dopamine Activity and Impairment in Frontal and Cingulate Metabolism," by Nora D. Volkow, M.D., et. al., p. 75]

Research examines risk factors of depression and anxiety of elderly

A study from the Department of Psychiatry, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, reveals that although many patients have both major depressive disorder and anxiety, comparing risk factors associated with pure major depressive disorder and pure anxiety disorders revealed more differences that similarities.

["Anxiety and Depression in Later Life: Co-Occurrence and Communality of Risk Factors," by Aartjan T.F. Beekman, M.D., et. al., p. 89]

Major depression may increase bone loss in men

A preliminary study from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, found that major depression is associated with an increase in the loss of bone mineral density, and that bone loss was greater in men than in women.

["Lumbar Bone Mineral Density in Patients with Major Depression: Evidence of Increased Bone Loss at Follow-up," by Ulrich Schweiger, M.D., et. al., p. 118]

Source: American Psychiatric Association Press Release, January 3, 2000.

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